Nancy Wilson says Heart "borrowed" famous riff for hit song 'Barracuda'

News 19/03/2019

Nancy Wilson, guitarist for the band Heart, says herself and her sister and bandmate, Ann, have always been influenced by what they hear - all the way back since they were young girls.

In a new video presented by Loudwire, she recalled her first experience with the Beatles, who were a key inspiration in the early days:

"When we heard about the Beatles and then they came to America and we saw them on TV, on The Ed Sullivan Show, it was devastating. It was wonderful. It was like the culture shift, so we were just possessed to have guitars and possessed to make a band, and sing and play and learn all their songs,"

One song in particular caught her attention though: "the beginning of ‘I Feel Fine,’ where the guitar string goes ‘dinggggg.' ... That whole part. That was just the call, the call to arms."

Sometimes she got carried away with the influence though, with Wilson saying Heart's 1977 hit 'Barracuda' was "borrowed" from a contemporary band, who weren't too pleased.

"We had been touring and opening for a band called Nazareth in Europe. Nazareth had a hit with this Joni Mitchell song that they covered called ‘This Flight Tonight’ that kind of had that riff, so we kind of borrowed that and we made it into ‘Barracuda.’"

The riff "felt really big. It felt so rock. ... It’s one of the guitar tones where I’m still trying to figure out what we did, cause it’s hard to recreate. It’s very analog.”

You can watch the interview in the video above.